Tag Archives: poetry

And I Did Eat by Jonathon Penny

Journal_of_Emerging_Infectious_Diseases_Jan_2013 pic2

The orchard offered fruit,
And I did eat.

The field imparted grain,
And I did graze.

The farm gave up the calf,
And I consumed.

Her mother furnished milk
To quench my thirst.

The market tendered goods
Both fair and fine,

Encumbrances unique
To tempt my tongue

And fill my eyes and ears
With vague desires.

The bending world laid bait,
And I did eat.

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WIZ Profile-1 Jonathon PennyJonathon has taught literature on two continents, and has read, written, and conversed about it on three. He has published poetry, fiction, and reviews in Dialogue, Sunstone, Victorian Violet Press, Gangway Magazine, Mormon Artist, Mormon Midrashim, Mormon Review, Switchback, and WIZ, and was anthologized in Tyler Chadwick’s (Ed.) Fire in the Pasture.

Illustrating painting: Pieter Cornelisz van Rijck (1558?1628), Still Life with Two Figures (1622). Oil on canvas (123.8 cm × 148.6 cm).

Call for submissions plus a few announcements from PK

Geese_Flying_Past_by Tony Hisgett of the U. K.
Migrate your creative work to WIZ

First item of business: Wilderness Interface Zone is issuing a call for nature-themed prose: creative nonfiction or environmental nonfiction, eco-criticism, interviews, hybrid literary forms, and short fiction, including novel excepts, that reflect on humankind’s relationship to the natural world, wherever writers engage it.

We’re especially interested in writing that demonstrates the need for and effects of what I call “green language”–rhetorical prowess that taps into the fertile realm of language’s most vital energies. One of WIZ’s foremost goals is to advocate for better behavior in the teeming yet at-risk environment of human language.

So, got nature in your prose? Please consider sending it to Wilderness Interface Zone. Before you submit your writing, please read our About and Submissions pages.

Item two: Poets, please continue sending your poetry. WIZ loves poetry! Please send your nature-inspired poems to Jonathon at WIZpoetryeditor@motleyvision.org.

Item the third: For the past three years, starting on or around the spring equinox, WIZ has launched its Spring Poetry Runoff, an annual, themed poetry competition celebrating spring’s highly anticipated arrival. Each year, the influx of vernal verse has graced WIZ with a garden of poesy. It’s been one of my favorite times of the WIZ year.

This year, Jonathon and I have chosen not to run the Runoff. We’ll bring it back in 2014 in new and improved form. However, we will host an informal spring fling featuring poetry and prose that revels in the arrival of warmer and brighter days, the annual emergence of life, and the onset of spring migrations that change life’s scenery.

Spring rises before the sun on March 20. Feel free to add a ribbon to WIZ’s literary maypole. Even if your poem, essay, short story or novel excerpt merely mentions spring and nature, please consider submitting it to the festivities.

(Edited 3/12/2013 at 12:10 p.m.)

The Mendicant’s Plea by Patricia Karamesines

800px-Waterdruppel_op_blad waterdrops on leaves public domain

If I came in the dawn, before
Your hard light and straight air,
If I brought a cup,
Would you let drop dew

From your luster onto its curve?
Not for me, mind you—
It’s enough for my two orbs
To reflect on complexions of sky-

Eyed beads, enough for my two
Shells to dote on strands
Of silence.  But others might
Not catch the muddy logic

Of rainstorm runoff, the smoke
Of wit in some animal eye,
The lavender twinkle
Of late-blooming asters;

Might not hear your dog’s
Cackle upend evening’s
Sequence, the raven break off
Night, the raw weed bend.

If it were a plain cup,
Without artistry,
Only your look, your lights
Dabbling its surface—

In each hemisphere of blessing
Would I bear out plenum on a mirror—
Your ascetic bent on prodigality,
Minims stamped with Everness’s twins.

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Patricia and her husband, three kids, two cats, and new puppy live at the edge of the desert in the Four Corners region of the southwestern U.S.  She has won many awards for her poetry, essays, and fiction.  She is the author of The Pictograph Murders, a mystery set in the area where she now lives.  Some of her poetry appears in the recently published landmark anthology of Mormon poetry, Fire in the Pasture. An adjunct English professor for Utah State University-College of Eastern Utah, she teaches English composition and also provides tutoring instruction.  She is the founding editor of Wilderness Interface Zone.  “The Mendicant’s Plea” was first published in Desert Voices, the Moab Poets and Writers’ literary magazine.

More WIZ announcements, perhaps of interest

Fire in the Pasture from Peculiar Pages Press

Fire in the Pasture: Twenty-first Century Mormon Poetry, edited by frequent WIZ contributor Tyler Chadwick, made its debut at 2011 end in impressive style. Tyler reports that Fire in the Pasture has “risen as high as #2 in both Hot New Anthologies and Hot New Inspirational & Religious and #12 in Hot New Poetry.”  The Kindle edition “slipped into the Kindle Store’s top 100 Best Sellers in 20th Century American Poetry.”  Congratulations, Tyler and Th.!  For WIZ readers’ information, several WIZ contributors, including Sarah Dunster, Jon Ogden, WIZ’s new contributing editor Jonathon Penny, Steve Peck, Sarah Page, and myself have work included in its pages.  Ángel Chaparro Sainz, another frequent WIZ contributor, wrote the anthology’s afterword.  It’s a pleasure to see that so many WIZ folk threw kindling into Fire in the Pasture’s multi-colored flames.  A poem by Elizabeth Pinborough, another poet published in Fire in the Pasture, will appear on WIZ in February.

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Karen Kelsay, a fine formalist poet and constant lyrical presence here at WIZ, has begun a publishing company, White Violet Press. You can reach the press’s accompanying blog with submission guidelines by clicking on the image to the left.  While most publications are by invitation only, WVP will look at unsolicited manuscripts year round. White Violet Press is now open for submissions, so WIZ writers–especially WIZ writers of a formalist persuasion–please go have a look and support Karen in her new creative venture.

Torrey House Press3

In November 2011, my essay, “Plato’s Alcove,” was awarded finalist status and an honorable mention in Torrey House Press’s creative nonfiction competition.  The essay tells about my first trip to the desert.  An earlier version won 1st place in the 2003 Utah’s Original Writers Competition.  The version I sent to Torrey House is a more highly stylized, mixed-genre experiment. Want to read “Plato’s Alcove” at Torrey House’s website?  Go here.

Vintage3

Profound apologies for the lateness of this next announcement, but Fortunate Childe Publications published its autumn anthology, Vintage, in October 2011.  WIZ contributors Karen Kelsay and Carla Martin-Wood also have verse published therein (search on their names in the search bar to the left to read their poetry published on WIZ).  Also featured in Vintage: four of my poems, including “Deer in the City,” “Closing Time,” and two poems not on WIZ.  Leslie Ellison, publisher of Fortunate Childe, nominated my poem “Deer in the City,” which also appears at WIZ, for a Pushcart Prize.  This is my second Pushcart Prize nomination. Thank you, Fortunate Childe!  To find information about Vintage or purchase copies of this lovely seasonal anthology, click on the picture to the left.  I will soon be buying a few for myself. Several poets included in the anthology recorded readings of their work that you listen to here.

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WIZ will be running its popular Love of Nature Nature of Love event again in February.  To celebrate Valentine’s Day, all month long we’ll publish poetry, essays, blocks of fiction, art, music (mp3s), video or other media that address the subject of love while making references to nature.  Or it could go the other way around: We’ll publish work about nature that also happens to give a nod to love.  We’re seeking submissions of original work or you can also send favorite works by others that have entered public domain.  So if you have a sonnet you’ve written to someone dear to your heart–even and perhaps especially your pet hamster Roley Poley or faithful horse Old Paint–or perhaps a video Valentine or an essay avowing your love for a natural space dear to your heart–please consider sending it to WIZ.  See the submissions page in the navigation bar above for submissions guidelines.

Bush Men by Bradley McIlwain

Bush Men--McIlwain
Original photo by Bradley McIlwain

(for R.D.)

river rushes north
along aged Indian

trails cupping hands
with scout guides

and ghosts of foreign
navigators once lost

among mosquito marsh
and dense brush, asking

sustenance from
unforgiving earth

plucking berries
you picked in autumn

before she turned
gold to silver and

mud brown—the
end of hunting

and the creation of
renewed paths, when

beauty paved the road to
harshness, we gathered

dancing in deer skins, to
the sacred drum, hoping

to find the heartbeat that
remained
_________________________
Bradley McIlwain is a Canadian-based writer and poet who lives and works in rural Ontario as a freelance reporter, covering stories on local heritage, the arts, and human interest. The narratives in his poetry often stem from a desire to paint the natural world around him, and exploring its intimate connection with memory. In addition to the classics, he enjoys reading the work of M.G. Vassanji, Gregory Scofield, and Tom MacGregor. He holds a Bachelor of Arts, Honours, from Trent University, with a major in English Literature. His first book of poems, Fracture, is now available. You can also find his poetry on YouTube, or by visiting his blog. Mr. McIlwain has published with WIZ previously.

The Figure I Love by Sonnet Mondal

The shy eyes filled with metallic lustre ogle at me
in the moonlit night.
I try to fix my concentration
within the shining leaves of the tree.
The girl with a brown body,
green eyelids, a hundred arms is what I see.

She has a unique pose; bent back resting upon flat feet.
Dry hairs straight down to soil,
and the light song clothed
with cold air beckons me with a beat—
She is just beside my window,
shading my shadow and travelling kit.
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Sonnet Mondal is the author of six books of poetry including a poetry bestseller and is the pioneer of the 21-line fusion sonnet form of poetry. His works have been published in several International literary magazines and have been translated into Macedonian, Italian, Arabic, Hindi, Telugu and Bengali. He was awarded Poet Laureate from Bombadil Publishing in 2009, Doctor of Literature from United Writers’ Association in 2010, Azsacra International Poetry award in 2011 and was inducted in the prestigious Significant Achievements Plaque in the museum of Bengal Engineering an Science University, Shibpur. He has also been a featured poet at World Poetry Reading Series, Canada and Asian American Poetry project, U.S.A. At present he is the managing editor of The Enchanting Verses journal of poetry.

Thank you, 2011 Spring Poetry Runoff participants!

RodneyLoughWaterfalls

I’d just like to say again how, in both quantity and quality, this year’s Spring Poetry Runoff exceeded my hopes. I’m deeply grateful for everyone’s participation and consider hosting such an outpouring of spring passion a high honor.  Seeing writers come together to play and ply their craft has been inspiring, and my hopes for Mormon nature writing received quite the lift.  Fine work, people, and—for me, at least—some of the best fun around.  Slow-release wonder and other good effects of the Runoff linger still.

So many, many glad thanks to:

Sandra Skouson

greenfrog

Karen Kelsay

Mary Belardi Erickson

Sarah Dunster

Carla Martin-Wood (poems and photos both)

Sean Watson

Judith Curtis

Steve Peck

Barry Carter

Jonathon Penny

Saul Karamesines (photos)

Tyler Chadwick

Ángel Chaparro Sainz

Harlow Clark

Tod Robbins

David Passey

Nathan Meidell

A great group, and we’ll have to think of something really cool to do with such a glittering array of verse.

Victorian Violet Press seeks poetry

Victorian Violet Press editor Karen Kelsay, a frequent contributor to WIZ, sent this announcement:

Victorian Violet Press, an online poetry magazine, is seeking submissions for the December issue. Please check out the magazine to get an idea of what type of poetry is published. You can find the magazine here.

Guidelines: Our taste in poetry is eclectic, but these subjects are preferred: inspirational, poetry for children, poetry about children, nature and life. Formal and free verse are both accepted, we particularly enjoy metrical poems that have lyricism, originality, accessibility and beauty.

Poems should not be obscure or overly abstract and should have a strong element of rhythm and a strong metrical element whether they are free verse or formalist.

Send 3-5 poems pasted in the body of an email with your name in the subject line. Simultaneous submissions and previously published poems are okay. Please wait three months after your last submission, before sending more poetry.

WIZ’s 2010 Spring Poetry Runoff Contest

A compass needle, a lizard, spins half a turn
To keep me in sight, tweaking my sense of direction:
Spring is coming — that way.

According to my 2010 turtle calendar, the Vernal Equinox arrives Saturday, March 20.  To celebrate spring’s arrival last year, WIZ ran a Spring Poetry Run-off that turned out to be lots of fun.  So beginning March 19, we’re running WIZ’s Second Annual Spring Poetry Run-off, this time as a poetry contest!

In keeping with WIZ’s mission to help develop, inspire, and promote literary nature and science writing in the Mormon writing community, we encourage poets to help call an end to winter and midwife the birth of a milder season, a season of gardens, returning flocks, and light that takes the tarnish off the blood.

Contest rules

  • Submit poems to wilderness@motleyvision.org between March 7 and March 31.
  • All poems submitted must be original, published or unpublished work.  If the work has been previously published, please provide publication information and be sure you can grant us rights to re-publish the work.
  • Please submit poems 50 lines long or less.
  • All poems submitted must be spring-themed or at least mention spring.
  • Poets may submit up to 3 poems.

The contest will run from March 19 through March 31 or longer, if enough poems come in to warrant extending the contest. All submissions will be published on the blog, where they’ll become automatically eligible for competition as well as open to readers’ informal feedback in the post’s comments. Authors retain all rights to their work.

Entries will be posted one per day until all entries have been posted.  Following the contest’s closing, readers will vote on WIZ to choose the winning poem.

A winner will be announced within a week after the last poem has been posted and all votes have been cast.  The winner will be awarded his or her choice of either a copy of Lance Larsen’s Backyard Alchemy (University of Tampa Press 2009) or Warren Hatch’s Mapping the Bones of the World (Signature Books 2007).

If you don’t want to compete but would like to participate in the Spring Poetry Runoff, let me know and I’ll mark the poem, “Not for competition.”

So, if you have written a poem which mentions spring or one in which spring figures prominently and that fits WIZ’s themes and content, e-mail it to us at wilderness@motleyvision.org.  Please review our submissions guide before submitting.

Guest Post: Girl and Mare by Cara O’Sullivan

Swallows fly low and fast
Singing of nests in the arena’s rafters.
Heat radiates through wood and sand
Melodius with the voices of young girls,
Odorous with warm sweat of horses,
Pungent with fresh manure, 
Sweet from hay growing in the field.
The mare and the girl work hard
Learning to dance together,
To understand a tug of the rein,
The lean of a body, the weight of a foot.
Dust rises where they turn, jump, and lope
This creature comprised of two–
My daughter, barely eighty pounds,
And the chestnut mare over a thousand.
My daughter’s face is flushed with heat and concentration;
The mare is sleek with sweat, but she hates to stop.
She is one with the girl who loves to run.
They both yearn to move through space
Soaring over hurdles. Maybe this is what makes
Them love each other so. When the lesson ends
The mare stands, eyes half closed as the girl
Brushes over tired muscles, soothes out tangled mane and tail.
The horse nudges her face against the girl.
Unbidden, she plods quietly behind the girl,
Content to follow her back to the corral.
Neither seems to want to leave the other.
Out in the paddock, maple trees shiver
In a cool wind easing down the canyon.
The mare comes close to stand by the girl,
Nudges her again. My daughter wraps her arms
Around the mare’s neck, buries her face
In that solid living warmth. The trees lean
Into  the radiance of that quiet embrace.
I call to my girl, have the sense to let the two
Linger in that fast embrace.
I understand that love, that loathing to part.
My girl finally comes to me. In the sun,
The chestnut mare watches, her brown eyes
Warm as heated summer earth.

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Cara Bullinger O’Sullivan is a BYU English department graduate who has worked as a magazine editor, technical writer, and IT systems auditor. She lives in Utah with her husband, two children and 2 dogs. In her spare time she enjoys pursuing various creative writing projects with unknown destinations.